Skadden and Latham lead on Qatari bond issue

A duo of US firms has won lead roles on the State of Qatar’s recent $3bn (£2bn) sovereign bond issuance.

Latham & Watkins ­partners Bill Voge in ­London and Doha-based Craig Stoehr advised Qatar on the deal, which was its first sovereign bond issuance since 2000.

The firm has a longstanding relationship with the Qatari government, having advised on its first-ever ­sovereign bond offering in 2000.

Stoehr said: “The State of Qatar’s multibillion-dollar bond offering, coupled with other similar bond programmes across the Gulf, is likely to renew interest in what has historically been an underdeveloped bond market in the Middle East. It will create a deeper and more active bond market in the region.”

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom New York-based partner Hal Moore advised the underwriters on the deal.

Latham invested heavily in the Middle East last year, launching three offices simultaneously in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Qatar in March.

In Qatar the firm’s client base includes Qatar Gas Transport Group, Qatar Investment Authority and global energy company Taga.

Late last year The Lawyer reported (1 December 2008) on ­London-based partner Bryant Edwards being relocated to the Dubai office to head the Middle East practice.